Gaining Eschatological Equilibrium
Well, I pulled the next book from the ol' library out. It is The Man of Sin: Uncovering the Truth About the Antichrist by Kim Riddlebarger. So far I have read 66 pages (no jokes please) and I must admit that I am disoriented. Riddlebarger is an amillennialist, and as someone who grew up in dispensational premillennialism, this is quite dazing and confusing. But I am enjoying it--I have a challenge, and I love challenges. Eschatology was one of the first theological subjects I seriously studied after the Lord saved me, and it continues to be of interest, though I have moved on to much more profitable and important doctrines. Eschatology seems to be the initial foray into theology for many new Christians, especially in the past ten years. It also seems to be the area that leads new Christians into a lot of false and misleading doctrine. That alone makes it worth studying and at least attempting to get right. I don't know what to think about the amil position at this point. I have on principle dropped dispensationalism, largely in part to my studies at Southern and my distaste for what I call "Dater Dispys;" that is, those dispensationalists that try to set a date for the Second Coming (Hal Lindsey, Grant Jefferey, anyone?). I see no evidence for "dual-covenants" and the like, for example; though I am sure much of what I learned in dispensationalism has been tainted by the Dater Dispys. It just boggles me that a system that tries so hard to be biblical can fall so short of being biblically correct. At this time, I have retained some of the dispensational viewpoints on eschatology. I am still a strong premillennialist; but I have dropped the notion of a pre-tribulation rapture to the point where I have almost abandoned the idea of a rapture completely. At this time I hold a post-tribulation rapture, which I believe to be entirely consistent with a Scriptural view of a pre-millennial return of Christ. I also hold a dispensationalist assumption that the words of Scripture actually mean something literal; that is, when a prophet describes something, it is entirely possible that what he describes literally does look like that. As such, many of the assertions Riddlebarger has put forth thus far are completely foreign to me, and that is disorienting. Anyhow, I discussed with my wife last night that I wanted to set a goal of reading at least 100 pages a day when I did read, in an attempt to give focus to my books and to absorb and digest rather than picking the book apart 10 pages here, 5 pages there, 20 pages here, 40 pages there. I already had a system in place for school reading where I would read 20 pages at a time and then take a short break, then read an additional 20 pages and then break again. In this way I could read chunks of a book at one sitting and not burn myself out. So I intend to use this system to read at least 100 pages a day from now on. Come on, with 241 books in your library (thus far), you'd want to be knocking in those runs instead of leaving men on base, wouldn't you?